A newsletter calendar keeps your publication up to date. Whether you send it by post or email, creating a regular newsletter for your customers and prospects is an important marketing strategy. However, many organizations struggle to find topics for their newsletters or have trouble posting them on a set schedule.
To avoid these problems, companies can borrow a technique that magazines have been using for a long time: the editorial calendar. This sample newsletter schedule will help keep your organization’s newsletter up to date. Remember, these dates are not hard and fast rules. The most important thing is to find a set of deadlines that feel comfortable, not rushed, and meet those deadlines for each newsletter cycle.
What: Annual Planning
When: every December
Create a list of seasonal themes for the coming year and write them down for each month. For example, a real estate agent might want to include a spring cleaning checklist in April, tips for a greener lawn in August, and strategies for choosing a good school district in September.
What: Editorial Meeting
When: 1-2 months before publication
An editorial meeting typically includes everyone who contributes to your newsletter: editors, writers, managers, and designers. Print newsletters take longer, so schedule your editorial meeting at least two months before the deadline. Email newsletters may use a shorter time frame. At the editorial meeting, discuss potential story themes, assign writers to each story, and set writing deadlines for each article. Check your annual planning calendar for story ideas and also incorporate current news and events in your organization.
When: 3-5 weeks before publication
On this day, all articles must be submitted to the newsletter editor for review and approval. Set this deadline based on whether you have a print or email newsletter, and be sure to leave wiggle room for missed writing deadlines.
When: 2-4 weeks before publication
By this date, all articles and other newsletter content must be sent to the designer for layout.
What: Design Approval
When: 1-3 weeks before publication
While this is not the best time to make edits or changes to the copy, the newsletter editor should take one last look at the newsletter design to make sure everything is formatted correctly.
What: Printing and distribution
When: 1-2 weeks before publication
Email newsletters must be scheduled for publication on a specific day and time, and printed newsletters must be sent for printing and mailing. Then start the cycle all over again!